Ferdinand Baltasars

Netherlands • 1616−1680
Ferdinand Pain (June 24, 1616, Dordrecht - August 24, 1680, Amsterdam) - Dutch painter, engraver and draftsman; pupil Rembrandt, successfully adopted the style of his mentor.

Features creativity Ferdinand Bohl. The artist so skillfully imitated Rembrandt that some of his works were attributed to the teacher for several centuries. Although Bohl's style changed throughout his career, the same motifs as Rembrandt dominated in his work - historical subjects, portraits and touch (models in exotic costumes). Around 1650, Bohl's taste adapted to more “modern” trends: the palette became brighter, and more generosity and elegance appeared in the figures. No other artist in Amsterdam received as many official orders as he.

Famous paintings by Ferdinand Bohl: "Portrait of an Old Lady, Possibly Elizabeth Bass", "Self-portrait with sleeping amur"


Ferdinand Bolt was baptized in Dordrecht on June 24, 1616, his parents were surgeon Balthazar Bol and Tannek Fernandez. The future artist received his first painting lessons in his hometown; however, it is not known who his teacher was. It is logical to assume that this Jacob Gerrits Coipe (1594-1652), the most respected and talented master in Dordrecht. The long-standing hypothesis that Pain was educated in Utrecht from Abraham Blumarth (1564 - 1651) was recently refuted.

The painter completed his studies in 1635, as evidenced by the four notarial documents, which he signed while "Ferdinand Pain, artist" - that is, a full-fledged master. The following year, he left his hometown and went to Amsterdam, where he entered the workshop of Rembrandt. Pain quickly mastered his style and worked as a full-fledged assistant for several years - until about 1642. After that, he began his own successful career as an independent historical artist and portrait painter.

Following his teacher, Ferdinand Bol created many portraits of touch (1, 2, 3), the first of which dates from the year 1644. For several years - until about 1650 - he was largely guided by the style of Rembrandt. A vivid example of this is the portrait of Elizabeth Bass, the widow of the rich tavern owner. Now the majority of scientists consider this picture as an early work by Bohl, although before that it was considered an important work by Rembrandt.

Ferdinand Bol's growing reputation was confirmed by the first major order in 1649 - a portrait of the regents of a leper shelter (leprosarium). The palette of this group image strongly resembles Rembrandt, however, the posture of the models foreshadows the elegance that will become more characteristic of the work of Bohl after 1650.

In October 1653, Pain married, and thanks to his father-in-law, the vintner Elbert Dell, became the elite of Amsterdam. New relatives played a key role in his career, contributing to obtaining prestigious and well-paid orders from various municipal structures. However, the success of the artist is explained not only by such patronage, but also by his great talent.

In 1655, Pain became the head of the Guild of Saint Luke. And in 1658 he, together with Govert Flink and two other artists confessed that he painted naked women, which was illegal at that time.

In 1660, Lisbeth, wife of Ferdinand Bohl, died immediately after the birth of her son Balthazar. The artist was very busy. In subsequent years, he executed several large orders both from individuals and from municipalities, and not only in his native city, but also in neighboring countries - Leiden and Utrecht.

October 10, 1669 - a few days after Rembrandt's funeral - Pain married the fabulously rich widow Anne van Erkel. The artist was familiar with it for a long time: about twenty years before he wrote it with her husband Erasmus Sharlaken, treasurer of the Admiralty, on a wedding portrait in the form of Isaac and Rebeca.

Now, according to the marriage contract, the painter owned sixty paintings, and his property was estimated at a huge 14,800 guilders. The wife was at least three times richer. Pain no longer needed to make a living. Soon after the marriage, he practically stopped writing and lived mainly through investments.

The economic crisis that ended the Dutch Golden Age in 1672 did not seem to have affected Ferdinand Bohl and his wife. Moreover, judging by the tax records of 1674, their original condition even increased. As befits a person of his position, the artist entered the councils of several municipal institutions. In 1675 he was depicted in a painting "Six Regents and the Commandant of a Home for the Elderly in Amsterdam" Peter van Anradt. The pain sits in the far left corner of the table.

Anne van Erkel died in April 1680. The pain survived his wife for only a few months and was buried on July 24 of the same year.

Author: Vlad Maslov
Go to biography


View all publications


All exhibitions of the artist
View all artist's artworks
Whole feed